Initial reviews from Netflix members are mixed, but it's clearly too early to have a reliable sample size. Half of the first eight written member reviews love it. The other half loathes it.
Polarizing holiday flicks are the norm, and even in a worst case scenario this could be the birth of a cult fave with a dedicated core of fans that will make it a point to stream it every holiday season. Isn't that the point? Netflix has focused most of its efforts as it pertains to original programming on TV shows because that's where it can get the most bang for its buck. It's not a "one and done" movie-viewing experience. Netflix finally jumped on the exclusive movie gig with October's critically acclaimed Beasts of No Nation, but the emphasis remains on serialized dramas, eclectic sit-coms, and kid shows with more compelling production costs per hour of content. A Very Murray Christmas is different because it's the kind of movie that could get a lot of replay value whenever the holiday season rolls around.
It's amazing how quickly Netflix has ramped up its content catalog when it comes to original programming. When it first threw its hat into the ring a couple of years ago there would be a new series every couple of months. Now there seems to be a flurry of new Netflix-exclusive content being made available every couple of days.
If A Very Murray Christmas isn't your cup of eggnog, maybe next weekend's debut of Adam Sandler's The Ridiculous 6 will fill your mug. There's also probably a pretty good chance that you haven't gone through the entire seasons of last month's Jessica Jones, Master of None, or W/ Bob & David.
Step by step, Netflix is building a pretty strong moat for its 69.2 million -- and counting -- subscribers. It's gotten there by carving a new path, but now it has a holiday special like so many of the conventional media networks. What's old is new, and that's not necessarily a bad thing this time of year.